Some of the words we use most every day can be the most challenging to define or describe. A few of the examples that come to mind are love, peace, joy, puppy breath, and the angst of watching the University of Tennessee men’s basketball team during the last minute of their games!
Another word is heart. February is National Heart Month, with a focus on doing those things that contribute to having a healthy organ in one’s body that will pump blood efficiently and for many years to come. It is no coincidence that February is designated such because of a particular day of the month that involves chocolate and valentines and flowers and, yes, hearts.
But heart is much more than that. In Hebrew, the word for heart is “lev,” meaning the core of the entire inner person—emotions, thought, and will.
February is also the month when the season of Lent begins. For many, it is the season to give up something, e.g., chocolate or speeding (difficult to do in Oak Ridge, anyway) or playing Words with Friends, until Easter.
Since Ash Wednesday was the day before Valentine’s Day this year, it will be fascinating to see how those folks who choose to give up chocolate handled the 14th.
But, of course, Lent is much more than deciding to give up something. In fact, I think Lent has more to do with taking up rather than giving up.
What would it be like to approach Lent with the focus of taking up something—a spiritual discipline like daily prayer or journaling or reading the Bible or simply sitting in silence?
Hmmm. Simply sitting in silence. Now there’s a concept!
The Rev. Sharon Youngs is the new pastor of First Presbyterian Church, 1051 Oak Ridge Turnpike. She has served the national Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for many years in several different capacities. For more information see www.fpcor.org.